Democratic Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said that the critics who are calling for his resignation need to take to the streets and personally fix the city’s violent crime problem.
“If folks have something to say, get your ass on the streets, walk with us, do something. Don’t tweet, don’t talk, don’t go to FOX45,” Scott said. “Everybody has to do something, and this can impact anyone.”
Scott campaigned on reducing homicides by 15% each year and getting the city below 300 murders in his first year. There have been at least 32 murders in Baltimore in the first 27 days of this year meaning, at the current rate the city will see over 400 murders this year.
While president of the city council in 2020, Scott successfully pushed for a $22 million cut to the city’s police budget and then proposed a $27 million increase in 2021.
Baltimore operates a Safe Streets program which means “violence interrupters” mediate disagreements in dangerous neighborhoods in an effort to prevent shootings. The program has seen a significant reduction in fatal and nonfatal shootings in its target areas.
Still, a “violence interrupter” was shot and killed on Jan. 19 in a quadruple shooting. He was the third Safe Streets member to be killed in the last year.
Maryland is a may-issue state, according to the U.S. Concealed Carry Association (USCCA), meaning that it can be difficult for most people to obtain concealed carry permits. If Baltimore residents took to the streets of one of America’s most dangerous cities to try to prevent murders, they would generally be unarmed.
Scott said he places responsibility for the city’s crime problem on its residents. After a weekend in June 2021 when three people were shot and a woman was assaulted in the upscale Fells Point neighborhood, Scott suggested that the police were to blame, telling the police commissioner to “make sure that resources are where they were supposed to be” and said parents needed to “hold their children accountable.”